With the first round of the NBA playoffs drawing to a close, here are my predictions for this Friday night’s games. *Note- the bolded team is the team I have winning straight up.
Toronto (+1.5) over Indiana
The Pacers have given the Raptors fits thus far, but I have to imagine they feel deflated after a heartbreaking loss in Game 5. I commend Indiana for the way they have played, but you can only go so far when you have a mediocre offense that relies heavily on player (Paul George). Raptors coach Dwayne Casey has expressed urgency for his squad tonight, and I think Toronto feeds off that energy to a series clinching win.
Miami (+2) over Charlotte
The Heat have cooled since a pair of offensive eruptions to open the series, but I have them getting back on track tonight. Public sentiment favors Charlotte, who escaped Miami with a win in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead. These teams are very even, so there is no reason to think that the Hornets have suddenly figured out a formula to beat Miami. I trust the Heat’s veteran leadership in this situation to take the series to a seventh game.
Los Angeles (+10.5) over Portland
The Clippers season, thankfully, will come to an end tonight in Portland. However, I do like them to put up a fight. The Trailblazers aren’t exactly stout defensively and they rely heavily on Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to score. In other words, I think Portland is overvalued tonight in terms of the spread, but I wouldn’t exactly rush to bet the house on the Clippers to win outright.